Jun 27, 2008

Supreme Court Decision on 2nd Amendment Weak on "Shall Not be Infringed"

"...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Gun Owners of America (the only no-compromise gun rights lobby in Washington; see their position on McCain), while applauding the major aspect of the Supreme Court case (in an extremely close 5-4 ruling), also warns that the government is still "infringing", under the despot's plea of "necessity", and Americans should be vigilant to reclaim all of this trampled amendment. The Supreme Court's ruling could be an opportunity to challenge the Constitutionality of the plethora of gun regulations and laws. They state in an email:
In so doing, the Court's decision -- in dissenting Justice Breyers words --"threatens to throw into doubt the constitutionality of gun laws throughout the United States."
Yes both Tory and Whig parties of our present Parliament, and state and local governments, want to maintain gun regulations and laws, licensing, permits and sales data-bases--i.e. infringement and hurdles by which the government regulates your "rights" in a most hypocritical fashion. The most "conservative" Judge Scalia was careful to keep a lid on the pretended legal government "infringement" laws by adding this in his opinion, as reported in the LA Times:
"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places, such as schools and government buildings," he wrote. The majority opinion also said that prohibitions on carrying concealed or dangerous and unusual weapons, such as machine guns, were not in doubt.

The weakness of the court's very narrow ruling then is evident, regulation still dominates, but the basis for further appeals is now laid.


In GOA's own legal brief to the Supreme Court, published in part by USA Today below, they included the following, which includes the legal purpose of the 2nd amendment in its historical context--i.e. a last line of defense against tyrannical government (as ironically former Attorney General Ashcroft was quoted as affirming in his confirmation hearing by Sen. Kennedy), including the right to bear all kinds of arms without government permission or restriction:

Opposing view: An unambiguous right

2nd Amendment bars regulation of people’s ability to bear arms.

By Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson

Compelled to take up arms to regain their liberties as Englishmen, America's Founders knew that even the constitutional republic they had established could threaten the freedoms for which they had fought. In the First Amendment, they established a first line of defense — the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

Knowing that words and parchment barriers alone would prove inadequate to restrain those elected as servants from becoming tyrants, they added the Second Amendment to secure "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" — not to protect deer hunters and skeet shooters, but to guarantee to themselves and their posterity the blessings of "a free State."

Their foremost concern was the precipitating events of the American Revolution, wherein British troops in Massachusetts and Virginia seized American muskets, cannon and powder — actions the Declaration of Independence calls "a design to reduce (the colonists) under absolute Despotism."

Entrusting the nation's sovereignty to the people, the amendment breaks the government's military monopoly, guaranteeing to the people such firearms as would be necessary to defend against the sort of government abuse of their inalienable rights the British had committed.

Thus, the amendment's "well regulated Militia" encompasses all citizens who constitute the polity of the nation with the right to form their own government. The amendment's "keep and bear Arms" secures the right to possess firearms such as fully-automatic rifles, which are both the "lineal descendant(s) of … founding-era weapon(s)" (applying a 2007 court of appeals' test), and "ordinary military equipment" (applying a 1939 Supreme Court standard).

No government deprives its citizens of rights without asserting that its actions are "reasonable" and "necessary" for high-sounding reasons such as "public safety." A right that can be regulated is no right at all, only a temporary privilege dependent upon the good will of the very government officials that such right is designed to constrain.

Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson are attorneys for Gun Owners of America, which filed a brief in the Second Amendment case the Supreme Court heard Tuesday.